Category Archives: Lebanon

Excavation Underway For The New ABC in Verdun

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via Amer

This picture was posted today by a friend of mine, showing where ABC Verdun will be located. I always dug out a couple of pictures showing how the land looked like before the excavation works begun.

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To be honest, I am not really sure if we need yet another huge mall in Beirut, and even if we do, it would have been nicer to have a greener mall with a small park in front of it or surrounded by trees and greenery. ABC Verdun is expected to open in 2017.

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17-year old Lebanese Abdel-Ghani Ramadan Joins Manchester City’s Youth Program

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Abdel-Ghani will be the first Lebanese player to represent a Premier League club. Back in December 2013, Manchester City signed a highly talented Swedish player of Lebanese origins called Zackarias Faour.

This is great news for Lebanese Football!

Manchester City have signed Abdel-Ghani Ramadan to their famed youth development program the Academy, making the youngster the first Lebanese player to represent a Premier League club, local newspaper Al-Liwaa reported.

The 17-year-old from the coastal town of Barja immigrated to Belgium at a young age before his football talents saw him sign for Greater Manchester side Ashton United. [DailyStar]

Red Bull BC One Lebanon Cypher 2014

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Red Bull BC One is an annual international B-Boy competition where candidates compete in one-on-one dancing battles. We have a lot of talented dancers in Lebanon yet only one of them will be crowned winner tomorrow and get to represent Lebanon at the Middle East & Africa Final held in Algeria.

I am probably going to attend so stay posted, if you are interested of course, as I will share pictures and videos on my Instagram. If you have time, drop by as it’s a lot of fun!

Here’s a video of the Red Bull BC One finale last year:

[YouTube]

And one taken on the Saint Nicolas stairs in Achrafieh.

[YouTube]

Lebanese Minister For The Environment Mohammad El Machnouk Orders Construction of Janna Dam To Stop

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By Adonis, The Jabal Moussa Reserve FB Page is referring to the Adonis Valley in Nahr Ibrahim

Back in July 2013, I posted about the Janna damn and asked if it was yet another scandal in the making, given that there was a report done by The German Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources that strongly recommended not to go ahead with the construction of the planned Janneh dam. Moreover, a new report appeared recently explaining the dangers of building the Janna Dam that you can read [Here].

Having said that, Gebran Bassil, who was the Energy and Water Minister back then, decided back in 2013 to go ahead with the dam in Janna, claiming that the German report is wrong and basing himself on studies performed by Khatib & Alami, Artelia and Safege. However, the current Minister for the Environment Mohammad El Machnouk doesn’t seem convinced by Bassil’s reports and asked today the new Energy Minister to stop the Janna dam project in order to conduct further studies.

Honestly speaking, I think it’s better to put the project on hold for the time being and get different expert opinions on this matter. The new Energy minister should cooperate with the Environment Minister to form a committee of experts and take the right decision once the studies are out.

Trailer: I’m Not A Martyr By Samah El Kadi

Just like the 16-year-old student Mohammad el Chaar who died wasn’t looking to become a martyr, a lot of Lebanese weren’t willing to fight for any militia or any cause during the war and just wanted to live in peace with their families. I’m Not A Martyr is the story of a poet who tried to escape the Beirut war by taking shelter with his family in the mountains, only to find himself forced to join a local militia and take up arms.

I will be looking forward to seeing this movie. Based on what the press kit says, the release date will be around the start of next fall or winter.

The Global Competitiveness Report: Lebanon Infrastructure Ranked 127th Out of 144

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According to the 2013 Global Competitiveness Report, Lebanon ranked 116th out of 144 in terms of basic requirements, 125th out of 144 in terms of institutions, 135th and 32nd (out of 144) in terms of macroeconomic environment and health/primary education respectively.

The most problematic factors for doing business in Lebanon are:
- Inadequate supply of infrastructure
- Inefficient government bureaucracy
- Government instability/coups
- Corruption
- Policy instability
- Access to financing
- Inflation
- Insufficient capacity to innovate
- Poor work ethic in national labor force
- Inadequately educated workforce
- Restrictive labor regulations
- Poor public health
- Tax regulations
- Tax rates
- Crime and theft
- Foreign currency regulations

You can check out the full report [Here].

Against Approving The Wage Scale Draft

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via Al-Akhbar

I am glad the wage scale draft submitted by the Syndicate Coordination Committee did not pass yesterday, not because the banks and economic committees’ arguments convinced me, nor because I believe the current system is a just one, but simply because it’s not the right time to approve such a bill.

I will not dig into details here, but the problem is not with those who are demonstrating in favor of this bill, but in the thousands of useless and corrupt government employees that will get undeserved raises and worsen the financial burden on the Lebanese state. Unfortunately, a lot of decent workers are paying the price for these corrupt individuals, but things could get much worse for ALL Lebanese if this bill is to pass, at least in its current form.

The Lebanese government needs to find a way to cut down expenses, by eliminating the MPs and Ministers’ salaries to begin with, by cutting down the number of employees in governmental institutions, and by increasing the taxes on cigarettes, alcohol and other non-essential goods. These are few suggestions and I am sure a lot of economists and experts have better ideas, better than raising the VAT like it was suggested yesterday.